A Roman Malachite Bead Pendant,
Roman Imperial Period, ca. 1st century CE
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The barrel-shaped bead carved from a fine, bright speckled malachite.
Malachite was prized throughout the ancient world for its calming effect, as well as its promotion of joyfulness, optimism, and fertility. The ancient Egyptian word for green, "wadj," also meant "to flourish" or "to be healthy," and the hieroglyph represented both the stone malachite and the papyrus plant. Ground malachite was used as a pigment in painting and statuary and as eye makeup that was known to prevent eye infections.
Dimensions: Bead length: 5/8 inch (1.6 cm)
Condition: The bead is intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Private collection of Lady Gloria Dale (1922 - 2013 ), Lady Gloria Dale, artist, British crafts patron, and wife of the late Sir William Dale, died December 18th in a hospice in Hampstead, London. She was 91. She and Sir William, a leading British Commonwealth lawyer and instructor in legislative drafting and international law, married in 1966. Lady Dale, who resided in Lincoln"s Inn for the past 20 years, began a crafts career in her late 20s in Washington DC where she first made award-winning, artist-designed hand-tufted rugs that were exhibited in America (including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City), Italy and England during the 1960s. After she and Sir William returned to London from eight years of living in Beirut Lebanon in the early 1970s, she began to design jewelry using antique beads she collected throughout the Middle East. She later donated a collection of those antique beads to the British Museum.